Football is back. The 222 days since the Patriots hoisted the Lombardi trophy aloft back in February may seem like a lifetime ago. But we have made it through the desert. No more talk, no more training now is the time to put or shut up. Ahead of us lies five glorious months of footballing goodness and this weekend sees two teams start the march to California for Super Bowl 50.
Better than that though is that it means I get the chance to whip out the crystal ball and foretell what will occur in week 1. I’m going to start with the season opener tonight and add as we go across the weekend.
So, let’s get down to business:
By Stephen Rhoden Jr – Lead NFL Writer – @SRhodenJr
Thursday Night Football – Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots – 1:30am
Poor Pittsburgh. It could have been anybody though. After the summer of discontent in New England with the Deflategate story tainting the glow of Super Bowl 49, whoever facing the Pats to open the season would be facing an angry beast. What had been the suspension bowl until a federal judge laughed at and then quashed Tom Brady’s ban is now a lop-sided affair. No judge has re-instated Steelers running back stud Lev Bell or Antonio Brown’s running mate Martavis Bryant. The Steelers are a deer in the headlights. Though they won’t just let the oncoming Pats train crush them. With Big Ben under centre and Brown out wide the Steelers will take them a square go. There will points-a-plenty, but the Pats will steamroll on and the Steelers will live to fight again when they are at full strength.
Pats 38 – 31 Steelers
Antonio Brown 120 yards 2 TDs
Brady puts up 400 yards & 4 TDs